4 min read ✭  Learn more about the Facebook advertising platform as we talk about what Supporter Lifetime Value is and why it’s arguably the most important metric that nonprofit marketers should be tracking.

What is Supporter Lifetime Value?

Supporter lifetime value is one of the most important marketing metrics that you can track.

Facebook defines Supporter Lifetime Value as a numeric representation of the net profit you predict will be attributable to a given customer over the duration of your relationship with them.

This can be further broken down into a few different factors:

How often a customer makes a purchase within a typical purchase cycle

How much a customer spends each time they make a purchase

How much you project a customer will spend over the duration of your relationship with them

To put it simply, supporter lifetime value is how much a single supporter donates the entire length of their relationship with your organization.

 Why is this important?

Lifetime value should, but often doesn’t, influence the majority of the decisions you make in your marketing efforts. It’s a common trend among nonprofits to drop out of running Facebook ads due to issues underreporting the data. 

For instance, let’s pretend a nonprofit runs a Facebook test. The organization spends five hundred dollars over a one month span and ends up bringing in one hundred dollars in donations – with five new donors at an average donation of twenty dollars. The director of marketing then concludes that Facebook isn’t profitable for their organization’s marketing efforts and decides to not move forward.

However, this organization has not fulfilled its potential. If those new supporters have a good lifetime value, then running Facebook ads would yield itself useful, no? How many times a year does each new supporter return to donate? Say they donate two or three times or maybe even ten times; either way, if each donor spends twenty dollars multiple times, this nonprofit has now doubled or tripled its initial fundraising goals by only spending one hundred dollars to acquire each new donor.

Don’t make the same mistake as our example organization by pulling out of a campaign too early. Supporter lifetime value should be a guide to your nonprofit’s Facebook advertising campaigns.

The Key to Facebook Ads

We’ve covered how you should be calculating your Facebook advertising results, but what else do you need to ensure a successful Facebook campaign?

Proper Audience Targeting

A lot of nonprofit organizations tend to miss the mark due to improper audience targeting. Poor audience targeting is the number one reason many nonprofit advertising accounts on Facebook fail to produce any results.

Some of the most common mistakes within audience targeting include:

  • Trying to target new traffic with a hard donation ask
  • Sending cold leads to a donation page
  • Not leveraging existing user data to create more fine tuned audiences for targeting

Audience targeting is Facebook’s superpower and your organization’s entire campaign will depend on how well you use it. A great place to start when it comes to creating strong audience targeting is by leveraging your current supporters.

Creating Lifetime Supporter Audiences

Use lifetime supporter value as the basis for all of your organization’s audience targeting as well, as it provides valuable information that will help you target effectively.

Think about the following questions:

Who are the lifetime supporters at your organization?

Do they fit a certain persona that you can target using Facebook interests?

Do you have a segmented email list of all these individuals that you can upload into Facebook?

You can create all new audiences to target in Facebook based on your organization’s largest supporters, which are called Lookalike Audiences. Lookalikes are one of the most vital tools Facebook has to offer and they are one that your nonprofit must be utilizing.

 Matching demographic data with affinities, interests, and more, you can create a new list that have the same background as your current lifelong supporters. This introduces you to millions of individuals in size that can be as valuable as your lifetime supporters.

Remarketing to Increase Lifetime value

Remarketing is an amazing way to increase lifetime value of current supporters. Using the Facebook pixel, you can see when someone donates to your organization. This means you now have this person’s email, average donation amount, and other pieces of important information – this makes a great foundation for getting donations. Use this foundation and utilize these points of contact in order to remarket to them at important times throughout the year.

For example, if someone gives on Giving Tuesday, send a quick “Thank You” while still prompting them to donate again during year-end.

 Or, if someone is running a birthday fundraising campaign on your organization’s behalf, target them with an ad as a way to encourage them to keep fundraising. Additionally, you can give them tips on how they can more successfully enroll their friends and family as well.

Another strategy is to retarget your biggest donors. Simply sending a message thanking them for their donations along with statistics on how their gift made an impact to your cause can make the biggest difference. By looping them in with how they are playing a direct role in your nonprofit’s mission, they might feel even more inclined to donate a second or third time – or even to set up a recurring donation.

The point is that your nonprofit must stay top of mind. Communicating to your existing donor base is how you grow someone from a one time donor to a lifetime donor.

Conclusion: Don’t Waste Facebook Potential

Facebook has so much potential for nonprofit advertising. Its targeting features are unparalleled. Even so, many nonprofits miss the mark by trying to target new donors. Targeting the wrong audiences and pulling out of Facebook campaigns too early will cause your organization to leave too much on the table.

Remember:

  • Try creating supporter lifetime value audiences on Facebook to capture the most interested users and drive more results

  • Set up your new lookalike audience with the lifetime value feature on Facebook. This will help you target new supporters most like your top supporters for increased revenue.

  • Lastly, create remarketing ads to make larger asks for year-end as well as to let your current supporter base know you appreciate them.

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